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Restrictions on fire, but not on fun

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Though New Mexico forests are under heavy fire restrictions this Memorial Day weekend, the state Tourism Department has highlighted non-flammable alternatives for the long weekend.

Much of the state, including all state parks and wildlife refuges, the Rio Grande bosque, and Cibola and Lincoln national forests, prohibit campfires and open burning. Despite these limitations, New Mexico residents can still check out, for example, a motorcycle rally, wine festival or blues concert. Or they can hop a ride on a coal-powered train.

Here are details of some Memorial Day weekend events:

Memorial Day weekend activities around NM

♦ The Albuquerque Wine Festival will take in Balloon Fiesta Park from noon to 6 p.m. today through Monday. The festival will feature wine from almost two dozen wineries, in addition to live music, food, and arts and crafts vendors. The cost is $20 per adult; free for those under 21 if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Those with military IDs get $3 off and parking is free.

♦ About 30,000 bikers will roll down Main Street in Red River as part of a weekend full of events. The rally started Wednesday and goes through Monday, and includes live music, a tattoo contest, daily raffles and more.

♦ The 18th Annual Silver City Blues Festival will feature performances by nine bands, including Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Corey Harris and The Rasta Blues Experience, and Maria Muldaur and the Red Hot Bluesiana Band. The concert is free and runs from today at 12:15 p.m. until its last performance, which begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival will also offer a blues workshop (at a cost), in addition to artisan vendors and doggy day care.

♦ Also today, the antique steam engines of the Cumbres and Toltic Scenic Railroad begin their first excursion of the season. The narrow-gauge, coal-fired, steam-powered trains rumble through scenic mountains into Antonito, Colo. Trips range from $89 to $169, depending on seating, and take around eight hours.